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Just joined this forum and it's years late for a reply but my autistic son doesn't like hands on types of things. He has real sensory issues. He won't finger paint or make letters in sand. But he loves workbook pages and can do them for hours and preferably by himself. Each autistic child is different. Some may crave sensory overload and love sand - especially if their hands are buried in it and they feel the pressue/weight of the sand.

Getting him to sit to do the work is often the battle. I wish moms of autistic children could help plan school days. Your wanting to help more is great. With that belief, you will succeed with these kids. They seem to know who is trying to help them and will after awhile try to meet you on some common ground. Listen/watch for clues from the children. They are sending them out all the time it's just very hard for neurotypicals to hear/see/interpret them. As one adult autistic person said, "Think how hard it is to be when you think most of the people in the world are strange."
 
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